Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Pop Quiz: Who's that Girl?

Now a mere three days before opening night of my upcoming musical, I am still struggling to do any sort of in-depth posting here, but in the meantime I give you another of my infamous Pop Quizzes. This one asks you to guess the identity of some famous and semi-famous ladies of the screen who are depicted in photographs that don't necessarily coincide with their usual image. Die-hard cinephiles and TV addicts likely won't have any trouble figuring out who these gals are, but perhaps it will pose a challenge for some of you folks. In any case, I hope the pictures are fun, something I try to do with each of these posts.

1. Our first lady is all gussied up in a fashion that is different from the more typical covered-up and toned-down, fresh-scrubbed, girl-next-door qualities she was better known for in various light romances and musicals.
2. Now this chick certainly never showed up on her long-running television series (un)dressed this way! Perhaps this was a bid for an image change that didn't quite stick.
3. Goodness me, what an exotic person we have here. No, this is not a prehistoric public service announcement for breast self-examination, but a British actress getting her sexy on for an early role in a horror movie.
4. Someone seems to have lost the top of her swimsuit! This sensual shot is quite a one-eighty from the pert, innocent sort of roles that kicked off this actress's movie career.
5. Get a load of the colors in this outfit (and makeup!) What a time the late-'60s & early-'70s was. Do you know this well-liked television performer?
6. Sultry... and with a nod towards Rita Hayworth with the hair, though it's certainly not her. Do you recognize this talented lady who only wore her hair this way on infrequent occasions?
7. Flippy helmet hair in this one, so it's the mid-'60s, but who is this pretty brunette with the full lips and ample bosom?
8. Is this a screen test for Joan of Arc? Whoever it is has been de-glammed about as far as any studio chose to go back in the 1950s (and this look was quite a departure for the actress in question.)
9. This ponytailed girl became an immensely popular and successful star during the 1970s and while her movies range wildly in quality, they mostly retain heavy cult followings.
10. Do we recognize this scantily-clad swimsuit wearer? Like many of her peers, she was attempting to build a new image which wasn't able to take hold.
11. How about this fresh-faced '80s ingenue? This was one of her earliest parts and it would take about another dozen years before she became more well-known as a TV star.
12. There's a sort of ethereal glamour in this photo that, while not entirely outside the realm of the actress's usual milieu, suggests a bit more gauzy type of image than the more elegantly sensible and practical characters she tended to play in her gleaming career.
13. Here's another shellacked brunette, bewigged for a TV role that is light years away from the usual look this gorgeous starlet put forth.
14. We're seeing spots in this last one, but who is the young lady sporting them? As the years went by, we were far more accustomed to seeing a lighter shade of hair on her in movies and on TV.

And now...... Here come the answers!


1. The brassy, blonde, (in this guise) Barbara Nichols look-alike shown above is Miss Gloria DeHaven, MGM contract player and star of Summer Holiday (1948) with Mickey Rooney, Summer Stock with Judy Garland and Two Tickets to Broadway (1951) with Tony Martin. The photo in the quiz is from The Girl Rush (1955.)
2. Our bikini-clad blonde is Alison Arngrim, legendary as the spoiled, spiteful, stubborn Nellie Oleson on Little House on the Prairie (1974-1982.) Her acting career quickly petered out, but she proceeded to become a beloved public speaker, stand-up comedian, AIDS activist and a talented writer, reveling in the "hatred" that so many viewers feel towards her perfectly nasty character.
3. The photo of Kate O'Mara is from 1970's The Horror of Frankenstein. O'Mara went on to play Alexis' high-cheekboned, put-upon sister Cassandra (idiotically nicknamed "Caress") on Dynasty in 1986 for 19 episodes and later made a couple of sidesplitting appearances on Absolutely Fabulous (1995 & 2003.)
4. That topless blonde gal is none other than once-brunette Pamela Tiffin, star of Summer and Smoke (1961), State Fair (1962) and The Hallelujah Trail (1965) among others. She retired from acting in 1974 after marrying for a second time, not too long after this attempt at a completely new image.
5. That was Miss Jaclyn Smith prior to her success on Charlie's Angels (1976-1981) and later reign as Queen of the TV Movies.
6. The gal with the wave of hair to one side is toe-tapping marvel, Miss Ann Miller! She later went with a ginormous bouffant look and then later still segued back to this large bun at the nape of her neck, which I love.
7. This curvaceous cutie is Linda Harrison, best known for her basically speechless role in both Planet of the Apes (1968) and Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970), but also appearing (billed as "Augusta Summerfield") in Airport 1975 (1974.)
8. The plain-faced actress is Miss Joan Collins during her role in Sea Wife (1957), where she portrayed a shipwrecked nun. Later, Collins would adopt a staggeringly heavy eye-makeup scheme that really worked for her (but led to all sorts of scary real-life imitators!)
9. The young lady in ponytails is Miss Olivia Newton John, world-renowned singer and star of Grease (1978), Xanadu (1980) and :::cough::: Two of a Kind (1983.)
10. Child actress Dana Plato debuted on TV in 1975 and later spent 1978-1984 (with a few subsequent guest appearances) on the sitcom Diff'rent Strokes. Sadly, a drug habit led to her untimely death at only age thirty-four in 1999.
11. That is Mariska Hargitay of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999-2014), the offspring of bodybuilder Mickey Hargitay and buxom bombshell Jayne Mansfield.
12. Our hazy heroine is none other than Irene Dunne, star of Magnificent Obsession (1935), The Awful Truth (1937), Love Affair (1939), Penny Serenade (1941) and I Remember Mama (1948) among many other films.
13. The brown-haired lass is none other than Miss Sharon Tate, the stunning blonde beauty of Eye of the Devil (1966), Valley of the Dolls (1967) and The Wrecking Crew (1968) during one of her fifteen appearances on The Beverly Hillbillies (1963-1965) as a secretary.
14. The spotted starlet is Jill St. John, star of The Lost World (1960), Tender is the Night (1962), The Oscar (1966), Tony Rome (1967) and Diamonds Are Forever (1971), now the wife of Robert Wagner.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

At Last! Here Come Those April Showers!

Here is it April 23rd already and I still haven't coughed up my yearly dose of gents in the shower! Did you think I'd forgotten about it? Never... I've just been scrambling to get as many together as I could, often trying to dig up lesser-seen or lesser-known examples. I couldn't resist using this corny Mad Magazine cover artwork as the lead-off this time. I have a bit of a tan-line fetish (a holdover, I guess, from being reared – so to speak! - in the '70s when Speedos were the thing and sunscreen was mostly for albinos!) One can only wonder what Alfred E. Neuman was wearing to achieve this tan line! Care to join me as we turn on the spigot?

We're going to start off today with “the perfect man,” that is, if you were to have asked Truman Capote. Believe it or not, he was quoted as characterizing Lloyd Nolan as the ideal man! If you're familiar with the alternately kindly-craggy character actor from Peyton Place (1957), Julia (1968-1971) and Earthquake (1974), this is quite a shock. However, if you catch him in his early days, it's a little bit easier to understand (though he's hardly my usual cup of tea even then!)
Still, these shower pics of him for a vintage magazine spread are appealing and amusing.
See if you can take a guess at who our next, also highly unlikely, slab of beefcake is... He is another long-term character actor, known for playing creepy, threatening, sometimes weaselly types of parts and is well-known among classic film lovers in both drama and horror genres.
This is Peter Lorre of M (1931), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934), The Maltese Falcon (1941), Casablanca (1942) and many other movies.

This vintage hunk is Wayne Morris, an actor of the '30s and '40s who was on the cusp of achieving a more significant level of fame (following Paths of Glory, 1957) when he died suddenly of a heart attack at only age forty-five.
We know there are still fans out there of John Payne, a strangely unsung actor with a fair amount of charisma and a sometimes eye-popping body.
Here's Gregory Peck in an unusual display of perceived nudity.
Remember the rather threatening-looking David Brian, who costarred opposite Joan Crawford in Flamingo Road (1949) and The Damned Don't Cry (1950), among many other parts?
Take a very close look at the unbelievable waistline that muscleman-turned-sword & sandal-movie-star Steve Reeves is sporting here. Where did all his internal organs go?! (Seriously... enlarge this!)
Tony Curtis takes a makeshift shower in this photo, likely from one of his war movies.
Fourth in a series of comedy films (six of them with the word “Doctor” in the title) was Doctor in Love (1960), with Leslie Phillips and Michael Craig getting the once-over from Irene Handl while taking their showers.
This next shot from the same film (and the same guys) isn't technically a shower, but more of a wash-off, but since when have I ever split hairs over the chance to post some half-naked men?
Another famous muscleman-turned-actor is Arnold Schwarzenegger, shown here under the nozzle.
On the subject of athleticism, I give you 1940s & '50s boxing champion Carmen Basilio (note the missing tooth!)
Another pugilist Rocky Marciano was not only the inspiration for Rocky (1976), but also had his story told in the 1999 TV-movie Rocky Marciano, which starred Jon Favreau.
Then wrapping up this boxing triad there is Muhammad Ali (who starred in The Greatest, 1977, based upon his own life and career to that point.)
One could almost mistake our next subject for Robert Wagner...
...but it turns out to be Richard Beymer, who costarred with Wagner's wife Natalie Wood in West Side Story (1960.)
That same year saw Elvis Presley starring in G.I. Blues, directed by Norman Taurog who's shown here coaching The King on how to take a shower.
1961 brought Splendor in the Grass, with Warren Beatty and some of his classmates taking a shower after gym class.
Sadly, we can see here something we once spotted in a publicity still a long while back which is that the guys (in this case Gary Lockwood) are wearing shorts in the scene and aren't truly naked.
Still it's a great little scene of male camaraderie and bonding (with horny teen Beatty concentrating on the shower in order to avoid thinking about girls.)
I love all the soapy contact and physical intimacy of the scene.
An unknowing viewer looking at this set could get the wrong idea of what this scene is about, especially the top photo which looks like these two buddies are about to be coerced into a soapy, showery kiss!
1965's colorful, tenderly romantic film Joy in the Morning has newlyweds Richard Chamberlain and Yvette Mimieux showering in separate stalls of a boys changing room.
Naturally, we're zeroing in on Mr. C. for the purposes of this post!
Even though we now live in an “anything goes” era when it comes to films, little beefcake-y scenes like this in vintage movies are still a welcome piece of eye candy.
1967's How to Murder Your Wife featured Jack Lemmon going through his morning routine with the help of manservant Terry-Thomas.
One of those “let it all hang out” sort of performers was Andy Warhol favorite Joe Dallesandro, seen here in a beefcake photo from his youth.
These pictures have a gritty, grind-house quality to them, even though he's clean-cut (and clean-skinned!) by today's standards.
On the flip side is this very demure publicity shot of Dark Shadows actor Jonathan Frid. Hey, at least from the reflection of his in the mirror we know that he wasn't truly a vampire in real life!
Showing off far more flesh is Jan Michael Vincent rinsing off in one of his movies.
These gents are from the 1973 movie The Paper Chase. Character actor Edward Herrmann is on the left, Timothy Bottoms center and Graham Beckel on the right.
The height differential of these guys probably made it a little difficult to set up the shot, hence 6'5” Herrmann is showing a tad more skin than the other two. (Beckel's belly button doesn't even make the frame!)
The 1976 drive-in classic The Pom Pom Girls featured a welcome locker room shower scene. That's Robert Carradine attaching a condom to the overhead shower nozzle and filling it with water.
Check out those nozzles darting straight down out of the ceiling with no angle to them at all!
Here he lends a supportive hand to costar Michael Mullins (and I've included a shot of his rear view for those who may be interested.)
I have always loved these type of communal shower scenes with cute guys sprinkled around.
In 1977, Mel Brooks aped the shower scene from Psycho (1960) in his Alfred Hitchcock spoof High Anxiety.
Ryan O'Neal took a contemplative shower in Oliver's Story (1978), the sequel to 1970's Love Story.
That same year brought the sex comedy Coach, in which Cathy Lee Crosby has to fight sexism in order to lead a high school basketball team.
Here, she turns the water to 100% cold to jolt the players out of their sniggering, disrespectful attitude towards her.
Later, she takes things much further by beginning an affair with one of the students (a young Michael Biehn!)
...Joining him in the shower for a bit of hanky-panky (which, by the way, is interrupted by a janitor.)
The 1981 teen horror spoof Student Bodies featured this freshly-showered character applying some unusual deodorant.
One of those saw-it-on-cable-in-the-'80s-and-never-forgot-it movies is Fear No Evil (1981) in which Stefan Arngrim (from Land of the Giants) plays a put-upon teen who begins to demonstrate Satanic powers and uses them to punish his many enemies. Here, he is being picked on in the shower by the class bully (Daniel Eden) and uses his mind control abilities to turn the tables on his tormentor and make him supply a lengthy lip-lock in front of all the other showering students. This whole sequence (sorry about the shitty quality of the pics) was very vivid to my fourteen year-old eyes, believe me!
Campus Man (1987) told the story, based on a true story, of a college-age entrepreneur who comes up with the idea of a beefcake calendar. Here we see him (John Dye) attempting to coerce his dead-hot roommate and diving champion (model Steve Lyon) to take part in it.
During their discussion about it in the pool's steamy shower room, various other swimmers shuck off their Speedos in the background.
Few '80s hunks made quite the same visual impact as the delectable Lyon, though his acting career was staggeringly fleeting.
Before he joined the cast of Arrow (and before that, Dawson's Creek), Dylan Neal was a daytime soap star on shows like The Bold and the Beautiful, showing off his wares in countless photo shoots.
The shower still provides a viable backdrop for publicity shots such as this one with James Marsden.
And this one with Scott Foley (of Felicity, The Unit and Scandal, and formerly Mr. Jennifer Garner.)
1998's marijuana comedy Half Baked centers on a plan to free a man from jail before he is killed by an enemy of his and thankfully includes a prison shower scene.
Harland Williams is singing in the shower, with his soap-on-a-rope as an imaginary microphone when he catches the eye of a fellow inmate.
All the old cliches come true when he drops the soap and heads over to retrieve it.
Of course, 1998's most memorable shower was surely taken by Kevin Bacon in Wild Things, only a bit of which is shown here.
Few people who saw the engrossing Mexican film Y Tu Mamá También (2001) can forget the sight of Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal enjoying a shower in the vacated country club locker room where they've been hanging out.
The chit-chat between them devolves into a towel-snapping chase in which they both provide full frontal nudity. (As a side note, it's been a joy to see these two actors continue to appear in terrific roles and grow in fame as the years have gone by.)
2007's Meet Bill had down-and-out Aaron Eckhart playing reluctant mentor to a smart-mouthed, ego-driven kid (Logan Lerman) who winds up helping him win his cheating wife back.
The two of them bond in several ways (some of them quite controversial, such as when they share a tent overnight with two gals and apparently have sex with them!) including this shower scene.
Another 2007 movie, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, had firemen Kevin James and Adam Sandler posing as a gay couple in order to obtain domestic partner benefits.
Things get momentarily dicey, however, in the station's shower room when one of their skeptical and nervous cohorts – you guessed it – drops the soap.
The guy tries to borrow another man's soap rather than bend down to retrieve his own, but the grappling over it causes that bar to fly into the air and onto the floor as well!
Then Ving Rames comes in and has no qualms about reaching down to grab the soap for himself.
This shot is of Jake Johnson of the sitcom New Girl.
Here we have what is currently my favorite commercial (and I typically do not ever watch commercials, but I stop the presses for this one!) It's about a man who inadvertently uses his wife's Summer's Eve body wash while taking a shower and then feels the need to do all sorts of macho behavior (towing with his teeth, drinking raw eggs, etc...) in order to reclaim his masculinity, all to the wife's dry bemusement.
The man in the ad is delectable and thankfully has his modest chest hair intact during this era of shaved, waxed and lasered specimens everywhere!
I guess this post has been all wet, but hopefully in a good way! I leave you now with a set of shower photos that clearly have a dick in them (but can you identify who it is?)

This is an old army training film featuring ol' “Derwood” himself, Dick York of Bewitched! Till next time, yours truly, Poseidon.